“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A trial of trastuzumab and anastrozole for advanced breast cancer (BO16216)
This trial was looking at trastuzumab (Herceptin) and anastrozole (Arimidex) for breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body (secondary breast cancer).
This trial was comparing anastrozole alone with a combination of anastrozole and trastuzumab. The aims of the trial were to
- See if the combination of drugs worked better than anastrozole alone for HER2 positive secondary breast cancer
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The researchers found that the combination of trastuzumab and anastrozole was better than anastrozole alone.
The trial recruited 208 women. They were all
With the combination of both drugs, the cancer responded in just over 20% of the women treated. With anastrozole alone, the cancer responded in just under 7% of the women. And there was a difference in the time it took for the cancer to start growing again. On average, this happened after about
- 2 and a half months for women having anastrozole alone
- 5 months for women having anastrozole and trastuzumab
Women having both drugs had more side effects, including damage to the heart. A very small number of women had serious side effects.
- 9 of the women having both drugs stopped having the treatment because of side effects
- 1 woman having anastrozole alone stopped treatment because of side effects
The researchers wrote their report in 2006. They are continuing to follow the progress of the women who took part and they may publish results in the future.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Alison Jones
F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd